Yesterday, the three separate bargaining units represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new four-year agreement with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston. More than 350 union healthcare workers at the hospital are covered by the new contract, which includes nurses, service and maintenance workers, technical workers, and other professional staff.

The new agreement provides market-competitive wages and benefits, a robust staffing proposal, and also includes sign-on and retention incentives to help draw more key staff to the hospital – addressing concerns brought on by the pandemic and nationwide staffing shortages.

“Union members overwhelmingly voted for ratification, which tells us our associates are happy with the offer we worked so closely with 1199SEIU bargaining committee to finalize,” said CJ Urlaub, President of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. “This negotiation process was one of the most collaborative I’ve experienced and we are thankful to our colleagues at 1199SEIU for working together with us to create a contract that recognizes and rewards our current associates while being attractive for prospective staff.”

“It’s been a long haul, but we are glad to come together and negotiate an agreement that was in the best interest of all workers at our facility,” says Renee Gueli, Respiratory Therapist. “We maintained our health insurance. We negotiated a 20-year retention bonus on top of our general wage increases and we secured upgrades to retain existing workers. We are very proud that our service workers are now earning a comparable wage to other facilities in our area and that helps to retain workers, but those wages will also help to bring new workers into the hospital to help with shortages,” says Gueli.

In addition to improved wages and benefits, bonus pay is included in the contract, giving workers the opportunity to earn other salary incentives in addition to their regular hourly and overtime rate. The contract also includes sign-on and retention bonuses for graduate nurses and experienced Registered Nurses, and an enhanced Registered Nurse referral bonus for Mount St. Mary’s workers who refer nurses to the hospital – helping to improve staffing at the bedside.

Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and 1199SEIU began negotiations early January. The new four-year contract will be in effect through March 31, 2026.

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